Research Program

Program 3: Surface Water – Groundwater Interactions


Surface water and groundwater systems are connected. Accurately measuring the exchange between these two systems is vital to ensure that future water extraction is sustainable.

Program 3 seeks to understand water flow between groundwater and surface water systems, and is developing ways to quantify water exchange between the two. 

In many places there is a net flow of groundwater to surface water or vice versa. This connectivity is often not fully recognised and this can lead to double accounting and double allocation of resources.

Program 3 also examines how water exchange affects water quality, and is addressing the protection of delicate groundwater-dependent ecosystems. 

Researchers are working on:

  • methods to determine how streams are connected, and the extent of connection
  • developing models that capture the complex relationships between groundwater and floodwater exchange
  • quantifying groundwater recharge from ephemeral rivers in arid areas.

A sample of Program 3 projects can be found in the box to the right. 

Project leader


Professor Peter Cook from Flinders University leads Program 3 More

Related researchers


Meet the researchers who are contributing to Program 3. More

Project Resources